I have planend this thread for quite a while, but had hoped to finish my opera countdown first. Now since that thread is on a break until we get to the new boards and since May is approaching I'm starting this thread. I don't know how many of you who are aware of the ESC (Eurovision Song Contest) so first to lay down the basics. "Eurovision Song Contest (French: Concours Eurovision de la Chanson) is an annual competition held among active member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Each member country submits a song to be performed on live television and then casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the most popular song in the competition. The Contest has been broadcast every year since its inauguration in 1956 and is one of the longest-running television programmes in the world. It is also one of the most watched non-sporting events in the world, with audience figures having been quoted in recent years as anything between 100 million and 600 million internationally." The music that's been performed has, almost, never been considered modern. The songs are supposed to appeal to a large audience and the lyrics tend to be quite bland. One music researcher sat down and made a list of the most common words used in the lyrics and came up with the ideal ESC song "be nice to nice people". Still there are exceptions to this. In this thread I'm going to count down from the first ESC held in 1956 until today. 1956 Location: Lugano, Switzerland Participating countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland Winnder: Lys Assia, "Refrain" Switzerland The first ESC held was a try to reach out over the borders in Europe. It started out more as a radio event though, so the only surviving live pictures are of the winner. Lys Assia's Refrain This first event also had some irregularities like each participating country sending two songs, the Swiss jury being allowed to vote for Luxembourg as well, and the results, except for the winner, have never been revealed. The winning song is quite a standard, harmless song accompanied by a big band.